Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Payday loansharks again

John Oliver -- fast becoming a must-watch -- with the assist from Sarah Silverman (NSFW).

Comedian John Oliver had some fun at Texas’ expense Sunday night, devoting three minutes of a television segment on the payday-loan industry to conflicts of interest in Lone Star State efforts to regulate lenders.
The segment, which circled the Internet on Monday, continued a trend of ”Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” segments going in-depth on policy issues.

Oliver is the "60 Minutes" version of Jon Stewart, and he is just knocking it out of the park.

After providing an overview of the industry, which gives high-interest, short-term loans to poor people between paychecks, Oliver turned to a 2011 debate in the Texas Legislature as an example of the lobbying power the industry has nationally.

Oliver showed video of state Rep. Gary Elkins, R-Houston, who owns a company with 12 payday-lending locations, speaking against a bill to regulate the industry from former state Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller.

“Isn’t it true that you stand to add to your personal wealth considerably by killing these bills?” Truitt asked Elkins at one point, prompted a mumbling response. “Mr. Elkins, do you know the meaning of the term conflict of interest?” Truitt piled on.

Oliver then cut in.

“You might be thinking that that woman, Vicki Truitt, is awesome — fearlessly calling out how the payday loan industry influences politicians,” he said. “Which is why it’s going to be so hard to tell you that just 17 days after leaving office, she signed on as a lobbyist for ACE Cash Express.”

If you want to see it, skip to about the 7-minute mark.  Moneyshot (around 11 minutes in): "Even clusterfucks are bigger in Texas."

Oliver then focused on the chairman of the Finance Commission of Texas, which oversees payday lenders: William J. White, who also happens to be a vice president at Cash America International, Inc.

“So let’s just quickly break all of that down,” Oliver said. “If you were hoping to protect Texans from the payday loan industry, you would need to approach a commission overseen by the vice president of a payday loan company, and then introduce a bill into the state Legislature where the owner of 12 payday loan stores will debate the merits of the payday loan industry with one of the payday loan’s future (expletive) lobbyists.”

Proverbs 22:22 says: "Do not rob the poor because they are poor".  Keep in mind that I am the atheist here.  Also keep in mind that Greg Abbott -- that fine Christian man -- is the one who held the door open for the payday loansharks to set up their money-changing tables inside the temple of Texas, our Texas.  See, if I believed there was a Hell, I would also have to believe that Abbott, Elkins, Truitt, White, and everyone else making money by robbing the poor were going to it.

I am made to understand that military personnel can be court-martialed simply for walking in the front door of these places.  Is that accurate, anyone?

Why does Greg Abbott hate our troops?

Update: John got up ahead of me.  And, celebrating Shark Week, Public Justice.  And still more: "The reign of payday lenders may soon be over".  I wouldn't go that far; they'll always have Texas.


Greg said...

So if I understand you correctly, you want the government passing laws designed to implement Biblical principles? Wow -- I see who the real theocrats are.

PDiddie said...

Of course you DON'T understand me correctly, but that's hardly a newsworthy development.

Gadfly said...

Greg, school's about to start up. Remember to teach actual historical facts, not states right/wingnut mush. After all, it's still "We the People" and not "We the States."

Meanwhile, the idea that you think flag burning should not only be a crime but a hate crime shows that you are a clueless derp, and you are, in all likelihood, trying to cram a shitload of wrong-headed crap into the brains of your students.


Perry, did you see Oliver a couple of weeks ago on the explosion in "advertorial"/native advertising? He crushed it, especially on newspapers/magazines and trust issues.

PDiddie said...

I did see that one, and found it amusing and sad that newspapers have fallen so low. I still remember quarreling with editors in the '80's about stuff like that (as an ad director, in favor). But I totally understood their recalcitrance.

Gadfly said...

Today, no recalcitrance at all, sadly. Of course, it's "ironic" that HBO, a premium cable channel, puts Oliver's clip on YouTube for free just a day or two after the show!